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The Power Of Being

We All Have The Power Experience The Beauty Within

   Jun 27

God and Religious Doctrine

What we Know About God

Let’s look at what the history of man has shown us about God. The most obvious thing for a person who believes in reason is that if there were a specific path to pleasing God, no one has found it. There is no one person or group of worshippers or non-worshippers that illness, poverty, suffering and loss have not visited. There exists no list of do’s and don’ts that when followed will exempt anyone or any group from suffering or that will guarantee anyone or any group happiness on this earth. Reasonably, we may presume that whatever God is, it is neutral.

If God were to write a book, one and only one with words that could not in any way be altered, omitted or added to, any God that is worthy of that divine status would not write one word that would not be true and accurate until the end of time, perhaps a great feet for mortal man, but nothing at all for the one and only God who knows all that was, all that is and all that ever will be. As a reasonable person of the twenty-first century, I would expect no less if I were asked, or required to believe that every word in the book came from this omnipresent, all knowing, all seeing God. I would expect that the book would not state that the sun, the moon and the stars revolve around the earth. I would expect that God would know that this is not true. I would expect that God would not say “Thou shalt not kill” and then devote whole chapters in His Book to who and when to kill. Exactly what part of “contradiction” could I reasonably assume that this God does not understand?

It is just the fact that killing is so final, and the ‘who, when, and where’ are often so confusing, that that makes the book itself a map to failure. Let’s look at one of the reasons for death that I am personally very sensitive to, the killing of false prophets:

Kill False Prophets

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT
“Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who have dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles take place. If the prophets then say, ‘Come, let us worship the gods of foreign nations,’ do not listen to them. The LORD your God is testing you to see if you love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. The false prophets or dreamers who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in the land of Egypt. Since they try to keep you from following the LORD your God, you must execute them to remove the evil from among you.”

Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT
“ But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die.’ You may wonder, ‘How will we know whether the prophecy is from the LORD or not?’ If the prophet predicts something in the LORD’s name and it does not happen, the LORD did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared,”

In the first passage, God states that if the prediction comes true, then God is testing you to see if you love him enough to know that this is a false prophet, then a few passages down God answers the question on everyone’s mind, “How do we know a false prophet?” Here, the answer is that we know a false prophet because what he says will not come true. Could God be a tricky God? Could part of the test be figuring out which commands are to be followed and which are just meant to weed out the unholy?

If God created man, then God created the ability to reason that man has been endowed with, that ability which helps us to discern what is valid and enduring from what is not. Our reason and our intelligence evolve as the world in which we must survive evolves, and our ability to be discriminating evolves with ever growing quantity of choices that we face. Man does not have fur; he neither has claws, nor sharp teeth. He does have the mental agility to adapt to the world as it changes. This means that in 2007, we will not put a woman in jail for wearing patent leather shoes because they allow a man to see her tempting private parts. We are able to remove laws, made by men, which have no obvious relevance to our time and do not in any way protect or enhance our quality of life.

These gifts of reason and intelligence with which we have been endowed in order to insure our ultimate survival must be allowed, to examine the Books that many call the “Literal words and doctrine of the One True God”. The fact that throughout the long history of these books, and in the name of the God within their pages, man has committed the most violent, cruel, and inhumane crimes and atrocities that mankind has ever witnessed, obligates every member of our species to relegate these books to the classification of mythology and place them on the same shelves as those housing the books of all other ancient gods.

If we do not do this, we will suffer a fate that has been seen by no man since the dawn of history. Our weapons of mass destruction will be used by those who place their faith in the literal words and doctrine within the pages of these books, and they will ultimately do what is unequivocally demanded by anyone who calls himself faithful to the Word, and that will be to bring about the near extinction of humanity. This will happen because those whom we are labeling terrorists are in truth not terrorists at all but simply the most deeply devout. So long as these books are held as the ‘only true’ words of God, those demands of the complete annihilation of non-believers that run through their pages will find those who are faithful enough to fulfill.

What we know is that consciousness in a mechanical outcome of any physical processes, that we not only exist, that our world exists and that we are able to be conscious of this world and of ourselves is something beyond material explanation and therefore it falls into the realms of the spiritual. So perhaps it is that realm of the spiritual that we can begin to call God. That there are and have always been people who could see the future – some, in astounding detail, must tell the reasonable person that there is some form of a plan laid out before us. Perhaps, we could call a part of what is God. We may begin to get an idea of what God is by observing those things and experiences that seem to be just beyond the “how?” of the world and somewhere within the “why?”, of it.

Intelligent reason is important to us, for it is what we must use in order to eliminate what is not God. We cannot use our brains to know God because we only know what we ourselves to be. As human beings, we can only know God if we attribute humanness to God. We cannot understand God with our minds without attributing thinking, and feeling to God. However, this does not mean that we cannot experience God.

We can experience God when we leave our minds, our thoughts, our feelings, our desires, our fears, and journey within through meditation or deep contemplation into that place that is devoid of all of those things. When we do this, we find peace, we find joy, we find everything and we find nothing. We experience God when we are so centered and so focused that for a small window in time we know that every arrow we send out will hit its mark; we are in the “zone”, thereto, we experience God. No description of this experience can be adequate.

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Originally posted 2016-06-22 05:18:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


   Jun 25

CHANGING OUR BELIEFS

There is no point in searching for happiness unless we believe we can be happy. We may find many things, but we only keep what we believe to be ours by rights.

We all have underlying beliefs which form the foundation of our lives. These beliefs determine the way that we respond to the world. We believe that we have a certain place in the world. We believe that we have certain entitlements or lack thereof. We believe that the world will respond to us in a certain way and that there are things that we can and cannot achieve. Some of these beliefs are conscious, some are not. Many of them only become apparent to us when they hurt us.

Tana, my oldest daughter, and I had been fighting about her lack of attention to school. She had no understanding of the consequences of her actions. I was up against a brick wall and could not break through. One day we went out to lunch with a friend, and when I left the table to go to the Ladies Room Tana and my friend were talking about her failing in school. When I returned to the table I overheard my friend asking Tana what would happen if she really failed, what would she do? Her response was, “My mommy will fix it…she always does”.

I felt as though someone had hit me over the head with a sledgehammer. I did this, were the first words that I heard in my head. I have ruined my daughter’s life. This belief of hers covertly affects each decision that is made. It’s not a thought, something that one weighs when life is happening; it has a quiet, unfelt weight. It is just there, but it is the determining factor. Sadly, I passed this one on to her.

When I was a child I was expected to be perfect. I was expected to bring home A’s from school, no fanfare, no reward, just expected. I began noticing that when my friends brought home A’s they were rewarded by their parents for their hard work, I simply heard, “So, what else would we expect of you.” So in fourth grade I decided to fail, you know, start from the bottom so maybe I would receive some appreciation for my hard work. How could I believe myself to be worthy of love? I was taught that it was conditional, and the conditions were always somewhere beyond my best efforts. So, in fourth grade I proudly walked into my house with a Big Red “D”. My mother immediately made an appointment with the Principal. She insisted that my fourth grade teacher was prejudiced and gave me the grade because of it. After all, I had never in my life brought home less than an A.

I don’t understand how she did it, considering the fact that I really earned that “D”, but she did. It was changed to an A. This created a foundation belief. If I wanted acknowledgement, I had better give it to myself. There was no prize out there for me. These moments that impress us deeply are difficult to change. It was my “D” and she took it away. Whenever I had a favorite toy, or doll, my father would take it away from me and give it to a poor child, because I could get another one. But I couldn’t get another on that was my favorite. When I was young I was a pack rat. I collected everything and kept my collections in my closet. My grandmother went into my closet one day and decided to clean out the “garbage”. She threw away all of my collections. I would hoard every penny of my allowance and every penny that I could find and save it all in a kitty bank. One day, I walked into my room and it sat broken in half and empty on my dresser. No one took responsibility for taking the money or for breaking the bank until almost six months later; when finally my mother admitted to it. I was being taught from the youngest age, that attachment caused suffering. This was a foundation belief. I sabotaged everything, I could not let myself fail, but I could not let myself succeed either. Whatever I had I lost. After each loss I committed to doing things differently the next time, but I couldn’t, my beliefs created the program that my subconscious ran. And I just worked the program.

The key to understanding our subconscious programming is that we can’t just affirm it away, we can’t just understand it away. A program is not designed by the conscious mind, and so it cannot be upgraded by it. Our programs are designed by our emotional mind through repeated emotional feedback. The more painful the experience that designed the program, the more safeguards, firewalls, and passwords are installed to prevent us from tampering with it. In order to change a belief based program, we must act consciously contrary to our instinct. We must do this enough to impress upon our subconscious mind that the new way is a more state of the art security system. Only through acting as if, and realizing the results of the new way, can we change a response or a behavior that has been set up as a defense mechanism. In other words, “Fake till you make it”. We cannot just reject a prior belief. Of course, we can, it just won’t make any difference in our lives, because we can’t change the program that will automatically act on that belief. If someone has a quality that you see attracts to them what you want, act like in those ways that you see working. Eventually, those actions will provide enough feedback to your subconscious to be accepted as the new way.

My soul, my heart – could not accept love that was earned, love that was conditional. But my subconscious believed that the only way to be loved was to earn it. So, if I believed that someone loved me for something that I did, or the way that I looked or carried myself – eventually I resent that person and acted in a way that would make them leave me. If someone came along who just seemed to love me for who I was, I distanced myself from that person like the plague because according to my program, my belief, if I didn’t earn love I would lose it. So I set up a lose, lose situation – and as crazy as it sounds, my subconscious did it for my own good.

There are the beliefs that we can list, and those we just live. The ones that we live have deep roots. My grandmother believed that you have no one but yourself to depend upon. She believed that if you don’t hold on tightly to everything it will disappear. Every decision that she made emanated from those beliefs. Everything that we face in our lives is filtered through the lens of our beliefs. If you know the beliefs of a person you can easily predict how they will hand any situation.

We can change our clothes, we can change our minds, but changing our beliefs is something altogether different. A belief has a deep root. We can’t just pull it out without replanting, without acting as if we hold a different belief.

When I was a child people would occasionally compliment the way I looked or some talent that I had like painting. When that happened I could feel the fury building up inside of my mother. I could feel her jealousy in my soul. I would pay. So my belief was that if I stand out, if I am publicly outstanding in any area, I will pay. So I crave the light and at the same time I shun it. This is so deeply rooted that I can’t change it despite my understanding of its cause. What I can do is act as if I did not believe that I would suffer. So, I decided to give a lecture to a woman’s group. I wasn’t punished, I did not suffer and it felt so wonderful to share that I began upgrading my old belief through this action and replacing it with the new belief that this is a good thing. It is not easy and takes a lot of work, Rome was not built in a day and cannot be rebuilt in a day, but it can be rebuilt.

The distance between a familiar set of beliefs and one that is new and unfamiliar feels infinite. Crossing that space between fully believing one thing and believing something else feels the same as stepping off of a cliff. Act as if you are not afraid when you are shaking with fear. Hold your head high as if you own the room, when you feel like you should be sweeping it. It is not easy, but the results are worth it. Look, you can’t visualize that you no longer smoke until the desire abates. You can’t visualize yourself hating potato chips until you do. You have to stop smoking – to become a non-smoker. You have to stop eating the potato chips, to stop craving them. You must replace a program with an opposite program to neutralize it and allow the new program to run instead.

When we are born we have a personality. This personality has been formed out of all of our past life experiences, good and bad it is filled with programs developed as a result of the past. Our natural talents come from lives of hard work and practice, our automatic fear are programmed to protect us from past life experiences. The programs are activated by certain stimuli, and reinforced in childhood. We enter each life to utilize the gifts and understanding that have been programmed and to reprogram the areas where we are stuck in spiritually self-destructive programming. When we change our beliefs we are entering a strange new country. In time though, that country become home. In order to make the transition it helps to realize that we can always go back to what we once believed. We have choice.

If our lives are not working the way that we want them to, there is something in our beliefs about our living, not in our lives, that is not working. When we try to change, we cannot maintain it because it is contrary to what we believe. We are not able to commit unless it is to something that we believe. We may change our direction, but if we are going left and still believe that we should be going right we will never see the value in having made the change.

One of the obstacles that we face in changing our beliefs is our need to be right. We need to realize that whatever it was that we once believed was completely appropriate for our lives at the time that we developed that belief. That belief gave us a sense of safety on ground that we walked at the time. Now however, things have changed and the facts that those beliefs were based upon are no longer applicable. Accordingly our beliefs must evolve.

It is not that what we have believed up until now was wrong, and therefore the way that we lived was wrong. It is that what we believed worked in the environment in which they were developed and now those beliefs must evolve to accommodate the here and now.

We can change our beliefs without damaging our sense of self by understanding that all beliefs have a reason for being. We don’t just believe something because we are stupid. We believe things because in order for us to have the experiences that we are meant to grow from the Universe has programmed our personalities to react to the stimuli of our family environment by forming these beliefs.

Using Astrological examples, if a Pisces steps on your foot he/she will apologize profusely for not seeing it. The preprogrammed belief being, if it goes wrong it is my fault. A Taurus who steps on your foot will tell you to watch where you put your foot. Thus believing that if you were not in the way you would not have been stepped on, your problem. If it were a Scorpio you might be accused of trying to trip them. They are obviously programmed with trust issues! Through our beliefs we make sense of the environment in which we must not only survive but thrive. Yet since we are here to evolve it only makes sense that our beliefs evolve in the same manner.

These are very difficult times that we are experiencing now. Nothing is as it was. It is as though everything looks as it did, the form is there but nothing has the same substance. This is a transitional period. We are forming a new reality and therefore the old one is losing its power. We are being forced to seek within ourselves and find the truth. It is what we cannot touch that has the greatest strength, consistency and dependability.

Whatever we can touch, will fade and pass away. Nothing will ever be the way it was. Nothing will ever work the way that it did. Yet if we allow ourselves to grow do the work to change our beliefs, our programming, we will find a strength and sense of self-empowerment that we never believed possible. Life is now miraculous; we are living in the possible all we need is to believe in the fact that nothing asked of us by the Source, the Universe is for anything but our good. Imagine the truth as a three-hundred-sixty degree circle, with every degree being a degree of the truth. We enter our incarnations at zero degrees of truth. That zero degree of truth is the foundation of our first beliefs, it is what our first program is built upon. It is TRUTH. Only, when we reach ten degrees, we see a greater truth and must reprogram our beliefs to accommodate the larger vision of truth that is now available for us to see if we are willing. At no point, were we wrong. The only way to be wrong is to have ten degrees of the truth visible and insist on seeing only the first one. We all see the truth, but it is only when we reach the three-hundred-and-sixtieth degree, that we know the whole truth. If we do not allow that there is always more truth to see, and that seeing it does not make the current truth less true, we will prevent ourselves from the greater experiences, the greater joys that lie in the greater truth.

Our beliefs need to be in alignment not only with our lives as they are but as we want them to be. We must believe in who we are, in who we are here to become, and in the process of that becoming. It is through the building of positive beliefs that we create a positive life. Our beliefs are where we begin when we build faith. And faith is the cornerstone of our successes. The doors to our future are opened by the faith built upon our beliefs. It is through our beliefs that we have the vision to see those doors and through our faith that we have the power to open them.

It is our beliefs that empower our obstacles. I have a friend who was afraid to go back to school even though she knew that she had an opportunity and that it would help her achieve her goals. Yet she was afraid because she believed that she was learning disabled. After speaking about it for a while she acknowledged to me that when she was a child there was such disruption in her home that it was very difficult for her to focus on schoolwork. There were so many emotional disturbances during her childhood that school took a back seat and so she did not do well. Today she is not in her parent’s home anymore. She is not a helpless child anymore, but still the belief that she is somehow unable to learn is still standing in the way of her progress. This is a belief that is built upon a prior view of the truth, but not connected with the current visible truth.
Our beliefs build the mountains that are in our way or they bring us the faith to move those mountains.

“… verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:23)

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Originally posted 2016-12-21 00:39:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


   Jun 23

It’s Cool To Be Kind

Enlightened beings are magnanimous givers, bestowing whatever they have with equanimity, without regret, without hoping for reward, without seeking honor, without coveting material benefits, but only to rescue and safeguard all living beings.
Buddhism. Garland Sutra 21
There are so many phrases that characterize these times such as, “Only the strong survive,” and, “People mistake kindness for stupidity”. “It is a dog eat dog world”. It seems that there has been a consistently growing trend against being nice. Today if one is too nice, they either need to join some religious order or seek a therapist’s couch.

When I was young, I was deeply affected by the emotional pain experienced by the people around me. I was especially sensitive to the fact that it was not inescapable pain but really self-inflicted. The greatest pain seemed to be caused by those we care for and sometimes even by those who care for us. My reaction to the pain of those around me and to my own, was to determine to live my life in a way which would focus on helping those in pain, and trying not to be the cause of pain for others. I was naive enough to want to see people happy. I grew up in an environment so devoid of trust and faith that I was going to carry enough for everyone. To me, it was so important to trust and to be trusted. Although I was often hurt or disappointed, it did not stop me from being true to the person that I believed I should be.

One day, in my early twenties, I was with a group of co-workers, speaking openly and honestly, when a friend pulled me aside and told me that everyone was not laughing with me they were laughing at me. She told me that I was kind and trusting, and people just saw it as stupid. She said that I had to change to protect myself.

A few years later, I had a friend who started calling me a weak ass. It bothered me but I wasn’t comfortable confronting her about it at first. I knew she thought I was too nice especially to people she didn’t feel deserved it. One day, I asked her why she called me that and she told me that if everyone in the world was like me—it would be a beautiful place, but since everyone was not, I was a weak ass. I respected her honesty and I also knew that in her way, it was a compliment. In the end, my being what she called, a weak ass was the reason she had chosen me as one of the few people that she really trusted.

During my early twenties, I did a great deal of soul searching. The truth was, that people were very difficult for me to deal with. I didn’t find it easy to make friends, because most people saw me as someone to take advantage of. Each group was somehow formed around its sense of superiority to other groups. I didn’t feel superior to anyone, and that affected my ability to fit in. At some point, probably during one of those painful times, I thought of the ways in which I could change and so avoid the endless hurts and disappointments that seemed to be a permanent part of my life. I realized that I could put up a cold wall, I could expect the worst from others, and take before I was taken. I could choose my friends based on how much they had to offer me, or how good it made me look to be with them. I could do those things that I had for so long been advised to do—or I could accept that who I was, was who I had always wanted to be. Because I realized that I was the person I would have wanted as a friend, and that, was the highest goal that I ever wanted to achieve within myself. I would rather have been who I was—alone—than to have allowed the experiences of my life to control me and to determine who I was as a person.

This is what is called dharma. It is living the life that is truly natural to your soul. It is really being your true self and living in accordance with that true self. There is a story of a Bodhisattva who was sitting by the water’s edge. A priest who was approaching him heard him saying “ouch” repeatedly. As he drew nearer, he noticed there was a scorpion that was drowning. As he watched the scorpion and the Bodhisattva he was astonished to see that each time the scorpion began to drown, the Bodhisattva reached into the water and pulled it out. And each time after each time it was being pulled out of the water the scorpion would sting the Bodhisattva’s hand. Afters it was pulled out the scorpion would return to the water and the scenario would be repeated.

The priest looked at the Bodhisattva in frustration and asked, “Master, you know that the scorpion is going to sting you, why do you repeatedly lift it out of the water?” The Bodhisattva responded, “It is the dharma of the scorpion to sting—and it is my dharma to save.” In this lifetime “to save” is not everyone’s dharma. There are even those humans whose dharma is to “sting”. Yet many, whose dharma it is to save, to help, and to love his fellow man—hold back out of fear of rejection or ridicule. So instead, they do what others do and, in acting against their dharma, they sadly create unnecessary karma.

It is my belief, and this is very personal, that it is the innate desire of each person to be loved unconditionally and to be allowed—regardless of past actions—to be the best one can be. I once read somewhere that loving is giving what you most need to receive. And this is why I say that this is personal, because it is what I would want to be given to me. So I chose to give others an opportunity to be trusted, even if they had not shown themselves to be trustworthy in the past, and to create a non-judgmental space for people to feel safe enough to change if they chose to do so. Perhaps, eight out of ten times this proved disastrous for me, but it wasn’t a personal loss because, having given something consciously, it was not taken from me. When I claimed my power, I claimed my right to give, to love, and to succeed in what I measured as success which was to be the best human being that I could. I no longer perceived myself as being a victim because I made the choice. I no longer perceived myself as being used or taken advantage of because I made a choice. Regardless of the perceptions of others, within myself I was becoming successful and that feeling was empowering.

Someone said that there are no bad people—only bad choices. I believe that because society is so fearful and so judgmental that some of us become forced into living out the persona of those bad choices in spite of an inner desire to rise above them. This is what happens to us during the Christmas season. It is a frozen moment in time when we may safely, without fear of loss or judgment, bring out what is best within us. We may experience the joy of giving and of sharing without feeling foolish, without fearing that we will be used or taken advantage of. The fears of our society have made those for whom giving and loving are the source of joy feel weak and defective. We have equated kindness not only with stupidity but with what this society considers to be the most detestable fault that one can have—that of weakness. My own father went to his grave fearing for my survival because of those exact traits that most endeared me to him.

For too long, people who do really care about the welfare of others have been made to feel ashamed of that feeling. They are either labeled, “Bleeding Heart Liberals”, or made to believe that they suffer from some form of inferiority complex. And to a large extent they do suffer from a complex. This is because there has been no place in the everyday world for good people. Even hearing the word in my head as I write makes me almost feel as those I am describing a leper. Good people have to find their own path and fight the world, their loved ones, and even themselves so as to stay on it. It has been very difficult after goodness lost favor with the general public in response to the sixties. So, unless one fits into the category of being an aged hippy, or a left over love child—good people have little or no support for their beliefs about life and the way to live it. I found that it is easy to feel confident when you believe in who you are. It was the believing that took some time, but it always does when you are swimming against the tide. The thing to remember is that it only takes one person to make a path—anywhere—and everyone else will eventually follow. It takes belief to develop confidence, and a willingness to walk alone to make that path, but once the path is made, you are not alone for long.

Now, it is time for all of the bleeding hearts to be proud that their hearts are not too cold, or too hard to bleed. It is time that we acknowledge that it is neither bad nor stupid to be good. It is spiritual. And one does not have to join an order to be spiritual and to live a life that exemplifies the spiritual principals taught by every Light that God has sent down to earth to lead us. For too long, we have bought into that dog eat dog world. We are not animals we are spiritual beings. We are meant to rise above survival of the fittest and that dog eat dog belief. We are meant to love, to care, and to be our brother’s keeper. We don’t have to wait until it becomes cool or in, to be good we have to be good long enough, and with enough courage and conviction that it becomes cool. There are no catchy phrases which praise being a good person. There are only phrases denigrating it. If someone is too good—then they are not true, or they are a stupid, a wimp, an easy mark, or a sucker. It actually amazes me that one can’t be too thin, or can’t be too rich, but one can be too good! We have gone so far down the wrong path that when someone does something right or is too decent, or humane, either their motives or their intelligence are immediately suspect.

It is time to lift ourselves out of the jungle where only the strong survive. It is time to leave the kingdom where dogs eat dogs and enter the kingdom where mankind can love and care for all living things. It is time for us to rise to the position that is befitting those who were created in the image of God, that image of the loving, caring, and forgiving caretaker that God is. How can we speak in His name, when we ourselves celebrate the animal in us and demean the God in us? God is goodness. If enough people find the courage to be proud of caring, proud of giving, and proud of trusting, then others will find it wise and cool to do the same. The world is in sore need of all the loving, giving, caring people it can support. And that does not mean confined in a religious order, but out in the world living an example that others can be encouraged to follow. There is an infinite distance between nowhere and the first step, but once that first step is taken, we find that the universe takes our hand the rest of the way.

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Originally posted 2015-07-30 05:28:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter